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Cop26 remains a “bla bla bla”. The protest car has already started its engines and it does so with the words spoken by Greta Thunberg and repeated in chorus by dozens of young environmentalists gathered in Glasgow’s Festival Park. The challenge launched beyond the River Clyde to the great people of the Earth who inaugurated the UN climate conference does not allow for a reply. “The real leaders are not in there, the real leaders are us”, shouted the Swedish ecologist pointing the finger at the inertia attributed to the powerful on the environmental emergency to be acclaimed several times by the many teenagers around who, as she has stated, they don’t trust any other fake promises. “Inside the COP there are only politicians and people in power who pretend to take our future seriously, they pretend to take seriously the presence of people already affected by the climate crisis. But the change will not come from within. That is not leadership, this is leadership ”.
Yet the British organization of the summit, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the lead, had somehow tried to ‘co-opt’ the voice of the demonstrators.
Some instances of the environmentalist ‘base’ arrived straight on the podium and did so with the various activists invited to speak in front of the audience of the World Leaders Summit. Young people from the islands of Samoa, Kenya, the Amazon denounced what is happening in their realities: peoples who risk sinking into the sea and others who are dying of hunger and thirst from famines and droughts generated by global warming. The leaders tried to avoid a paternalistic response and tried to use the language of activists. Johnson, referring to the words that Greta had recently said and repeated today, stressed that too much “bla bla bla” has already been done on the front of the fight against climate change. The same Swedish activist, who had said she had not been officially invited to the UN conference, before taking to the streets of Glasgow had found a place within the COP26 although not taking part in the work but as a guest of the Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon, with which he had a very frank chat.
“The voices of young people must be heard loud and clear at COP26,” said the First Minister on her Twitter profile. This despite the fact that in the past the Swedish activist had been quite critical of Scotland, saying that he cannot be called a leader in the fight against climate change, as the Edinburgh government had done. In addition to Greta and her supporters, dozens of other protesters protested during the day in Glasgow, always keeping their distance from the ‘red zone’ created north of the River Clyde. A band of activist-musicians wearing the masks of the main world leaders began to play in the center of the Scottish city: they are called ‘Cop 26 Hot Air Band’, the group against global warming that uses not only instruments but also a play on words. to attract attention, as ‘hot air’ means ‘fried air’ in colloquial English, the one that according to the demonstrators is circulated by the promises of the powerful not kept. And in Glasgow, the dinosaur symbol of the animal rights activists of the Peta group has also sprung up, which are seen everywhere in the world on the heels of the US president, to denounce experimentation on live animals.
The presence of activists is destined to increase on the second day of the presence of world leaders, and in the next with increasingly important mobilization events.